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AGM 2002 Policy Committee Report
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Policy Committee Report

[Photo: Policy Committee Chair Andrew D. Wright at AGM 2002]  The role of the Policy Committee is two-fold:
  • to address policy development and implementation issues; and
  • to address complaints or abuses about and by CCN members.

Complaints to the Policy Committee were down in 2002. The half dozen cases of user abuse in 2002 were all users making multiple simultaneous logins to the Chebucto Plus service. This ability has since been disabled in the Chebucto Plus authentication script.

There were several cases of users being abused however, when viruses and spammers used some innocent third party's email address as the forged reply address on their junkmail. In one case, the user received thousands of bounced messages a day for a three week period due to a badly organized spammer bulk mailout. The Policy Committee generally gets a complaint or two a month from people spammed with email falsely claiming to come from Chebucto and only examining the originating IP address of the email in the full message headers tells the true source of the spam (which was not Chebucto in each case).

The onslaught of spam and virus laden email this year has been staggering. We are filtering out hundreds of viruses a day from incoming Chebucto email and thousands upon thousands of spam messages. In the last year it is estimated that spam has gone from making up 8% of all email to making up 40% - 50% of all email. The burden of dealing with this on the different levels called for, from technical solutions to policy decisions, has been a heavy one, taking personnel and technical resources that could have been used more productively elsewhere.

There has been much discussion this year on the Chebucto membership process and ways it can be optimized or sped up. There was a lot of discussion of the requirement for personal identification to get a Chebucto account, with the majority opinion being that to drop this requirement would open the doors to account abuse that could do great damage before the abuse was detected and stopped.

Future policy discussions will likely cover composing user agreements for new Chebucto services under development as well as keeping a sharp eye on the myriad of issues surrounding Internet Service Providers these days, from privacy concerns to maintaining server security.

I want to thank all the volunteers manning the abuse desk and the Policy Committee for all their time and work this past year.


Andrew D. Wright
Chair, Policy Committee
Chebucto Community Net














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